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33 Best 'All Quiet On The Western Front' Quotes

Contents
Erich Maria Remarque takes us on a thrilling one of a kind journey through war and death.

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These bone-chilling quotes will surely give you the exact picture of the trauma and havoc of a war and make you contemplate on its futility.

The following quotes from 'All Quiet on the Western Front' are taken from the monumental work by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book projects the extreme images of war, the acute mental and physical stress upon the soldiers as well as the chronic atrocious post-war aftermath.

The term 'all quiet on the Western Front' actually signifies stagnation. The book is a memory picture of Paul Baumer, our protagonist and the man living through the monotony of war. It's a vivid description of constant uncertainty between life and death, the crisis for survival and food, the shock, the hopelessness and the numb tremors faced on the war front. Baumer's fight against his emotions is best described in Chapter 7 when he bids adieu to his family. As Baumer lives through the brutal circumstances, he feels a part of him dying with each day until the knell knocks at his door and he is found dead in the war, with a serene and calm expression on his face, "as though almost glad the end has come."

Through the following quotes in 'All Quiet on the Western Front', Erich Maria Remarque takes you from the cause to the futility to the aftermath of a war. It triggers you and compels you to think over and over again, of what a war can be. If you like this, do check out 'The Book Thief' quotes and 'All the Light We Cannot See' quotes.

Quotes On Futility Of War

Paul Baumer's helpless expressions make one wonder on the significance of war. Erich Maria Remarque, through Baumer, portrays such miniscule elements from a soldier's psyche that one is bound to wonder- why war? Why of all there is to life, we 'choose' war? Here you will find Paul Baumer quotes that are relevant to this day!

1. "How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture chambers in their hundreds of thousands."

- Chapter 10.

2. "We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost."

- Chapter 6.

3. "I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another."

- Chapter 10.

4. "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war."

- Preface.

5. "They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades."

- Chapter 9.

6. "We're no longer young men. We've lost any desire to conquer the world. We are refugees. We are fleeing from ourselves. From our lives. We were eighteen years old, and we had just begun to love the world and to love being in it; but we had to shoot at it."

- Chapter 5.

7. "Whoever survives the country wins. That would be much simpler and more than just this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting"

- Chapter 3.

8. "For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity, the world of work, of duty, of culture, of progress—to the future."

- Chapter 1.

Quotes On The Cause Of War

Is war really worth it asks the author to its readers?

The portrayal of dehumanization in 'All Quiet on the Western Front' will prick your conscience to an extent that it'll make you think over the cause of war and question yourself of your contribution in its cause if any. Read them and question, for an answer received today is better than when it gets too late. We hope you find that perfect 'All Quiet on the Western Front' quote that you are looking for.

9. "We are so completely played out that in spite of our great hunger we do not think of the provisions. Then gradually we become something like men again."

- Chapter 6.

10. "We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out…we creep in upon ourselves and with big eyes stare into the night…and thus we wait for morning."

- Chapter 11.

11."The man gurgles. It sounds to me as though he bellows, every gasping breath is like a cry, a thunder—but it is not only my heart pounding. I want to stop his mouth, stuff it with earth, stab him again, he must be quiet, he is betraying me."

- Chapter 9.

12. "We have so much to say, and we shall never say it."

- Chapter 7.

13. "Our thoughts are clay, they are moulded with the changes of the days;--when we are resting they are good; under fire, they are dead. Fields of craters within and without."

- Chapter 11.

15. "They are too grievous for us to be able to reflect on them at once. If we did that, we should have been destroyed long ago."

- Chapter 7.

16. "A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends."

- Chapter 8.

17. "We are no longer untroubled—we are indifferent."

- Chapter 6.

18. "I soon found out this much:—terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks;—but it kills, if a man thinks about it."

- Chapter 7.

19. "My heart beats fast: this is the aim, the great, the sole aim, that I have thought of in the trenches; that I have looked for as the only possibility of existence after this annihilation of all human feeling."

- Chapter 8.

20. "You take it from me, we are losing the war because we can salute too well."

- Chapter 3.

21. "We have lost all feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves when our glance lights on the form of some other man. We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and to kill."

- Chapter 6.

Quotes On Aftermath Of War

Quotes depicting the horror that families have to face after the war.

Erich Maria Remarque paints the horridness of the post-war destruction through her words. The spine-chilling, eerie aftermath, the annihilation, and havoc of the after-war world is in itself a shrill cry for help. Erich Maria Remarque makes us ponder and pushes us to make a choice- should we chose a war? Again? In this category, you will also find 'All Quiet on the Western Front' comradeship quotes.

22. "I open my eyes—my fingers grasp a sleeve, an arm. A wounded man? I yell to him—no answer—a dead man. My hand gropes farther, splinters of wood—now I remember again that we are lying in the graveyard."

- Chapter 4.

23. "A hospital alone shows what a war is."

- Chapter 10.

24. "It is not now the time but I will not lose these thoughts, I will keep them, shut them away until the war is ended. My heart beats fast: this is the aim, the great, the sole aim, that I have thought of in the trenches; that I have looked for as the only possibility of existence after this annihilation of all human feeling."

- Chapter 8.

25. "The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts."

- Chapter 5.

26. "A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. "

- Chapter 10.

27. "Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades - words, words, but they hold the horror of the world."

- Chapter 6.

28. "While they continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying. While they taught that duty to one’s country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger."

- Chapter 1.

29. "It is too dangerous for me to put these things into words. I am afraid they might then become gigantic and I be no longer able to master them.".

- Chapter 7.

30. "Our knowledge of life is limited to death."

- Chapter 10.

31. "We loved our country as much as they; we went courageously into every action; but also we distinguished the false from true, we had suddenly learned to see."

- Chapter 1.

32. "We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through."

- Chapter 1.

33. "I want that quiet rapture again. I want to feel the same powerful, nameless urge that I used to feel when I turned to my books."

- Chapter 7.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'All Quiet on the Western Front' Quotes then why not take a look at 'The Things They Carried' Quotes, or [Anti War Quotes].  

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